Purpose of "The Skeptical Druid" (was: Otherworld...)

A forum for the discussion of heuristic questions relating to Druidry using verifiable methods. Fo-fúair!
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Re: Purpose of "The Skeptical Druid" (was: Otherworld...)

Post by Bart » 21 Apr 2011, 21:13

DJ Droood wrote:
Bart wrote:Explaining everything with science will leave a lot of answers unaswered just because we have not developed the right meausring device.
So until someone smart comes up with the right measuring devices, the rest of us should fill the void with absurdities? Instead, why don't we just admit that there are things we don't know and work hard as a species to find out the truth? Seems more rewarding than just making stuff up because the unknown scares us.
You are rigth in the sense you should try and find the answer: untill than just keep waving those hands. :grin:

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Re: Purpose of "The Skeptical Druid" (was: Otherworld...)

Post by wolf560 » 22 Apr 2011, 17:13

DJ Droood wrote:
Bart wrote:Explaining everything with science will leave a lot of answers unanswered...
... why don't we just admit that there are things we don't know and work hard as a species to find out the truth? Seems more rewarding than just making stuff up because the unknown scares us.
I also agree so are we saying that we accept some things and not others?

I view this Skeptical Forum as a place to "test out the validity" of a belief I may have.
I post here occasionally so that I can see how the conversation and discussion plays out.

In some ways it is a way of seeing if my UPG is actually a shared one or not

The sarcasm and satire that I expose myself to here is a known constant from the start...
(and some satire can be as biting as any sarcasms the distinction between the two is sometimes only by definition and not by reality).


"Making stuff up" is where many theories are first postulated regardless of whether or not the theory is sound or even has merit.
Perhaps the Satire and Sarcasm can be also be tabled for at least the first response and this can truly be a 'Scientific Forum'

Just because someone says they have a Fairy Great Lord from the UnSeelie Court perched on their shoulder does not mean that it is real to any of us...
...but it also does not mean it is not real for that person either.

It is just another piece of Unverified Personal Gnosis,
.....and if the person making the statement is willing to go through some sort of scientific process for us
... thenperhaps we should at least listen before automatically taking umbrage at their post
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Re: Purpose of "The Skeptical Druid" (was: Otherworld...)

Post by Bart » 22 Apr 2011, 18:26

wolf560 wrote: I view this Skeptical Forum as a place to "test out the validity" of a belief I may have.
Outing your thoughts is the only way to test whether your theory holds any truth.
wolf560 wrote: "Making stuff up" is where many theories are first postulated regardless of whether or not the theory is sound or even has merit.
Perhaps the Satire and Sarcasm can be also be tabled for at least the first response and this can truly be a 'Scientific Forum'
Many "scientific" theories were once ideas and some hard core theories are even harder to believe than waiving your hands helps. (Just been reading in Stephen Hawking: the great design, for anybody who would like to read fluffy stuf accepted by physicists)
wolf560 wrote:Just because someone says they have a Fairy Great Lord from the UnSeelie Court perched on their shoulder does not mean that it is real to any of us...
...but it also does not mean it is not real for that person either.
:grin: :grin: :grin: :grin:

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Re: Purpose of "The Skeptical Druid" (was: Otherworld...)

Post by DJ Droood » 22 Apr 2011, 19:06

Bart wrote:
wolf560 wrote:Just because someone says they have a Fairy Great Lord from the UnSeelie Court perched on their shoulder does not mean that it is real to any of us...
...but it also does not mean it is not real for that person either.
:grin: :grin: :grin: :grin:
Someone can think their banana is made of gold if they want, but if they try to buy my car with it, I retain the right to be skeptical.
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Re: Purpose of "The Skeptical Druid" (was: Otherworld...)

Post by Bart » 22 Apr 2011, 21:51

DJ Droood wrote:
Bart wrote:
wolf560 wrote:Just because someone says they have a Fairy Great Lord from the UnSeelie Court perched on their shoulder does not mean that it is real to any of us...
...but it also does not mean it is not real for that person either.
:grin: :grin: :grin: :grin:
Someone can think their banana is made of gold if they want, but if they try to buy my car with it, I retain the right to be skeptical.
True, I think the biggest art form is to distuinguish between the golden banana and the one made from banana. :idea:

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Re: Purpose of "The Skeptical Druid" (was: Otherworld...)

Post by reilz81 » 23 Apr 2011, 13:08

one year the price of bananas here was greater then the price of gold per ounce lol. Also a golden banana wouldnt taste very good lol

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Re: Purpose of "The Skeptical Druid" (was: Otherworld...)

Post by cursuswalker » 23 Apr 2011, 21:24

Oh poo. It wasn't until I read this thread that I realised the formal status on this forum section.

As a result I think I crossed a line in this thread:

http://www.druidry.org/board/dhp/viewto ... =4&t=34702

It is a testament to the laid back moderation of this forum that I was never picked up on this :-)
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Re: Purpose of "The Skeptical Druid" (was: Otherworld...)

Post by wolf560 » 25 Apr 2011, 18:36

DJ Droood wrote:Someone can think their banana is made of gold if they want, but if they try to buy my car with it, I retain the right to be skeptical.
LOL.... and the person with the (seemingly) gold banana has likewise the right to be skeptical as to the value of your car :grin: :grin: :grin:
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Re: Purpose of "The Skeptical Druid" (was: Otherworld...)

Post by DJ Droood » 25 Apr 2011, 19:08

wolf560 wrote:...and the person with the (seemingly) gold banana has likewise the right to be skeptical as to the value of your car
then he is wiser than he first appears!

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Re: Purpose of "The Skeptical Druid" (was: Otherworld...)

Post by wolf560 » 26 Apr 2011, 02:21

We read everyday about things which we (at first perhaps) think are silly, stupid, or worse.

In just the past 60 years we, as educated Human Beings, have heard the very same responses to the Coelacanth (Latimeria Chalumnae) and the Giant Pacific Squid (Architeuthis) for example.
The scientific world had long responded with catcalls and derision and learned their lessons the hard way for both after a positive catch was finally made.

Perhaps in the spirit of science and of 'getting along with one another' we can extend the same 'neutral first response' here as well.
I'm not saying that we open up the hallowed halls of the 'Skeptical Druid' to such "Fluffy Bunny" things as 'spots in pictures' that are 'proof of the afterlife' (or Faeries or Ghosts or Smurf-Totems)
But if someone opens up something here without proof then the first response should be a request for proof that any non-Pagan might recognize
If that proof is unsupportable such as "My intuition is never wrong about images of Cernunnos in my Sunday Toast" then we get to toss fruit at them...

References;
http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/a ... oelacanth/
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... squid.html
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Re: Purpose of "The Skeptical Druid" (was: Otherworld...)

Post by Lily » 26 Apr 2011, 09:47

wolf560 wrote:We read everyday about things which we (at first perhaps) think are silly, stupid, or worse.
In just the past 60 years we, as educated Human Beings, have heard the very same responses to the Coelacanth (Latimeria Chalumnae) and the Giant Pacific Squid (Architeuthis) for example.
The scientific world had long responded with catcalls and derision and learned their lessons the hard way for both after a positive catch was finally made.
There are idiot people, and a subset of those are idiot scientists. Don't extrapolate from a vocal minority to the general population.
Perhaps in the spirit of science and of 'getting along with one another' we can extend the same 'neutral first response' here as well.
... if someone opens up something here without proof then the first response should be a request for proof that any non-Pagan might recognize
You mean to say we don't?

As a corollary to the above, where are the catcalls and derisions you are citing?
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Re: Purpose of "The Skeptical Druid" (was: Otherworld...)

Post by DJ Droood » 26 Apr 2011, 13:27

wolf560 wrote:If that proof is unsupportable such as "My intuition is never wrong about images of Cernunnos in my Sunday Toast" then we get to toss fruit at them...
My experience here is that the disrespect usually runs the other way...from the person with the Cernunnos toast to anyone who would dare question them about it....and why wouldn't they get annoyed? We are all on a druid messageboard, which is programmed by subjective reality, so this is the last place anyone would expect to be challeneged. And who reads forum headers? But if someone tries to tell them (gently, and with respect to their dignity) that they would probably get a better hearing from the folks over in "The Common Quest" , they cry censorship.

But I agree that one should be called on rudeness (including artless sarcasim) and general boorish behaviour, in any public venue.
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Re: Purpose of "The Skeptical Druid" (was: Otherworld...)

Post by wolf560 » 26 Apr 2011, 19:35

Hello,

Rather than go through all the posts from the OBOD message board forums trying to find the examples of "catcalls and derision"...
I'll just state for the record that there have been a few responses that I have felt were "over the top".
Most of those comments have caused minor flame wars and some of those heated discussions have gone on for days and even longer.

That is a very subjective thing and perhaps I misunderstood something (and perhaps not) but I stand by it.
I do not want to turn any thread (particularly this one) into a finger-pointing session but rather I bring it up so that we can either agree upon a methodology (or not).
-------------------------------------------

I also feel that you are correct DJ, that sometimes the person that makes the claim of having the "image of Brigit floating in his Cappuchino" is just a bit too touchy about it.
They thought that "everyone here is a Druid, so they HAVE to support my claims"
I further agree that there are some people who do not read the headers and cry foul too quickly.

I return to what I was saying;
If anyone posts here in the Skeptical Druid then they should be prepared to back up what they say perhaps that they should offer some of the proof up front with the first posting.
Anyone else that responds will likely be either agreeing or disagreeing with the posting and offering proof (of some sort) to back up their agreement (or disagreement)

In the end, using this kind of discussion format I feel that everyone can learn from everyone else
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Re: Purpose of "The Skeptical Druid" (was: Otherworld...)

Post by Lily » 26 Apr 2011, 19:42

wolf560 wrote:That is a very subjective thing and perhaps I misunderstood something (and perhaps not) but I stand by it.
I do not want to turn any thread (particularly this one) into a finger-pointing session but rather I bring it up so that we can either agree upon a methodology (or not).
I was more wanting quotes of catcalls and derision of people thinking Latimeria does not exist. Never mind.
You know, some of the arguments do get a little tired when they're brought up the 30th time, such as "science can't disprove my personal truth". Fine. I also believe in the invisible pink unicorn.
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Re: Purpose of "The Skeptical Druid" (was: Otherworld...)

Post by DJ Droood » 26 Apr 2011, 21:52

wolf560 wrote:I also feel that you are correct DJ, that sometimes the person that makes the claim of having the "image of Brigit floating in his Cappuchino" is just a bit too touchy about it.
I think we all have our "woo" moments and experiences...and I think "druidry" in general should be open to discussions about these things, and a comfortable place for people to explore spiritual stuff...and I *don't* think that every belief and experience needs to be dissected down to its commonly experienced elements, or justified to anyone. Of course, if you do decide to throw your ideas out there, you have to expect to engage a little bit.

Is there a "Celtic" equivalent to this bible quote, which springs too readily to mind?:
"Don't give what is holy to dogs or throw your pearls to pigs. Otherwise, they will trample them and then tear you to pieces."
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Re: Purpose of "The Skeptical Druid" (was: Otherworld...)

Post by cursuswalker » 28 Apr 2011, 00:16

wolf560 wrote:We read everyday about things which we (at first perhaps) think are silly, stupid, or worse.

In just the past 60 years we, as educated Human Beings, have heard the very same responses to the Coelacanth (Latimeria Chalumnae) and the Giant Pacific Squid (Architeuthis) for example.
The scientific world had long responded with catcalls and derision and learned their lessons the hard way for both after a positive catch was finally made.
I can't agree. The existence of these creatures was nor biologically impossible, but they were thought extinct.

In the same way if you claimed to have seen a tyrannosaurus I would deride you without mercy until you produced one.
Perhaps in the spirit of science and of 'getting along with one another' we can extend the same 'neutral first response' here as well.
I'm not saying that we open up the hallowed halls of the 'Skeptical Druid' to such "Fluffy Bunny" things as 'spots in pictures' that are 'proof of the afterlife' (or Faeries or Ghosts or Smurf-Totems)
But if someone opens up something here without proof then the first response should be a request for proof that any non-Pagan might recognize
If that proof is unsupportable such as "My intuition is never wrong about images of Cernunnos in my Sunday Toast" then we get to toss fruit at them...
Well that should be the approach, depending on the consistency of the alleged phenomenon with current scientific understanding.

Take fairies for example: in order for them to be real there has to be a line of evolution after the split between the phyla chordata and dendrata 558 million years ago, with a class of chordata that evolved to retain six limbs and yet still evolve in such parallel with amphibians-reptiles-mammals as to eventually produce an exact human parallel...but with wings. Considering the fact that ALL the other dendrata are insects and the like, this seems unlikely.

OR.....they are from another dimension etc. In which case prove to me that dimension exists or, in the nicest most druidic sense, STFU.
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Re: Purpose of "The Skeptical Druid" (was: Otherworld...)

Post by wolf560 » 28 Apr 2011, 04:49

So... if this topic were to arise "Faeries" that is...

Would the discussion automatically be shut down because their is no science to it?

Example;

Since the original "Good Folk" were not endowed with 'diaphanous wings' but according to the stories were merely 'made smaller' in order to inhabit their underground abodes...
I do not recall off hand any stories of the Tuatha de Danann having insect-like wings before or after losing the right to inhabit the 'Land above'...

A quick look in history and I found these two tidbits...
1211 - Gervase of Tilbury, writing in 1211, described the portune, an English household sprite, as "very small in stature, measuring less than half a thumb"
1592 - Shakespeare's Mercutio said that the fairy queen Mab was "no bigger than an agate-stone on the forefinger of an alderman" {Romeo and Juliet, act 1, scene 4). Following this tradition, visual artists typically have portrayed fairies thumb-sized and often fitted with butterfly-like wings,
...that would mean an explanation outside of normal physics is the only thing possible... for neither Wings nor Magic powers can be 'proven'.

So are we saying by definition that all talk of anything even remotely connected to Paganry is going to be excluded from this forum?
Or are we saying that so long as we can show where or what we are talking about things can also be supported in some way makes a topic "acceptable"?

In the above example I would love to see a few people talking about when, where, and why the Noble Folk began to appear in the stories with wings...

Perhaps a philosophical discussion of a topic such as Faeries is not meant to be discussed here in any form or fashion...
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Re: Purpose of "The Skeptical Druid" (was: Otherworld...)

Post by Bart » 28 Apr 2011, 07:01

cursuswalker wrote: OR.....they are from another dimension etc. In which case prove to me that dimension exists or, in the nicest most druidic sense, STFU.
Physics created a number of surplus dimension, they claim is empty. Just because they needed them to balance the math, and could not imagine that there is anything outside our four dimensions.

Thus, to your quote: the other dimension seem to exist. According to hard core scientist (or are we sceptical with tme as well???)

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Re: Purpose of "The Skeptical Druid" (was: Otherworld...)

Post by Lily » 28 Apr 2011, 10:49

So are we saying by definition that all talk of anything even remotely connected to Paganry is going to be excluded from this forum?
Or are we saying that so long as we can show where or what we are talking about things can also be supported in some way makes a topic "acceptable"?
Maybe the purpose (oh and by the way, look at some of the old stickies again... topics to be unleashed an all - for more purpose) -

is to dissect a skeptical person's experience of druid spirituality from all the pseudoscience junk and stuff that others feel free to attach to it for the sake of it being alternative.

Joey B said that once on his blog, is he still around?
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Re: Purpose of "The Skeptical Druid" (was: Otherworld...)

Post by DJ Droood » 28 Apr 2011, 11:37

wolf560 wrote:Perhaps a philosophical discussion of a topic such as Faeries is not meant to be discussed here in any form or fashion...
There are 879 other subforums here.....just one click up, in Discuss Druidry, they state:
The discussion here is general and far-ranging but should have something to do with Druidry. Threads of a general spiritual nature are appropriate if the discussion relates them to Druid spirituality and beliefs.
I guess it would depend on how attached you are to your fairies. I think if you came here with "proof" of some sort that your fairies existed to other people...maybe some grainy film from the 1980's or something...it would be a good starting point for a discussion.

What don't you post a thread on fairies here and see what happens? I, for one, would like an open and honest fairy debate.

(and if you use the two fairy points you made above, I would suggest that they are proof of a change in fairies in literature.....sort of like saying the Green Lantrine stopped using a rocket pack in Issue#37...true and interesting in a literary discussion, but not proof that the Green Latrine exists.)



Perhaps what you are talking about is "Non-overlapping magisteria"


In an 1997 essay "Non-Overlapping Magisteria" for "Natural History" magazine, and later in his book Rocks of Ages (1999), Gould put forward what he described as "a blessedly simple and entirely conventional resolution to ... the supposed conflict between science and religion."[1] He draws the term magisterium from Pope Pius XII's encyclical, Humani Generis (1950), and defines it as "a domain where one form of teaching holds the appropriate tools for meaningful discourse and resolution"[1], and describes the NOMA principle as "the magisterium of science covers the empirical realm: what the Universe is made of (fact) and why does it work in this way (theory). The magisterium of religion extends over questions of ultimate meaning and moral value. These two magisteria do not overlap, nor do they encompass all inquiry (consider, for example, the magisterium of art and the meaning of beauty)."[1]

In a speech before the American Institute of Biological Sciences Gould stressed the diplomatic reasons for adopting NOMA as well, stating "the reason why we support that position is that it happens to be right, logically. But we should also be aware that it is very practical as well if we want to prevail." Gould argued that if indeed the polling data was correct—and that 80 to 90% of Americans believe in a supreme being, and such a belief is misunderstood to be at odds with evolution—then "we have to keep stressing that religion is a different matter, and science is not in any sense opposed to it," otherwise "we're not going to get very far."[2] However, he did not consider this diplomatic aspect to be paramount, writing in 1997: "NOMA represents a principled position on moral and intellectual grounds, not a mere diplomatic stance."
I think I am on Dawkins side in rejecting this and thinking that "ultimate meaning and moral value" is hamstrung, poisoned, pulverized and burned to ashes by Religion....but it might work if you said "philosophy" instead of religion....I think this board, especially over the last couple of years, has done a good job facilitating the co-existence of different philosopies and making "safe rooms" for everyone.
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